Maria Teresa Pisani Mompalao Cuzkeri was the only daughter of the Baron of Frieniuni, one of the oldest barony in Malta. Her mother was Italian. She was born in Naples in 1806. She died on the 25th February 1855 when she was 48 years old. Today she is known as Blessed Maria Adeodata Pisani having been beatified by Pope John Paul II in Malta 0n the 9th May 2001.
During her lifetime, she experienced a very turbulent family life. Her parents had great marital problems, due to her father’s alcoholism. Her mother left the family home entrusting her daughter to her paternal grandmother. M. Teresa was 10 years old when her grandmother died and she was sent to a boarding school in Naples.
Then, her father was sentenced to death because he was involved politically in revolts in Naples. He was deported to Malta instead, because he was a British citizen. Eventually, Maria Teresa together with her mother, went to live in Malta but they never lived with her father who had resumed his erratic lifestyle. However, Maria Teresa never shunned her father and she would stop and ask for his blessing whenever she met him in the street.
She continued to refuse all her mother’s attempts to get her married. After continued opposition from her family, she followed her call and joined the Benedictine nuns in St. Peter’s Monastery in Mdina, choosing a humble life of chastity, prayer, work, silence and obedience. Her name was changed to Maria Adeodata, she renounced her titles and she distributed her immense inheritance, keeping only what was necessary for herself and to help others. In the monastery the work she loved most was that of being a porter, a responsibility that brought her in contact with the poor people who came to ask for help, and taking care of the chapel because it gave her more time near the Blessed Sacrament.
Towards the end of her life she was also an Abbess for two years, when she had to deal with conflicts even from members of the community who misunderstood her sanctity and her mission. She was buried in the Monastery crypt, which is visited by many asking for her intercession.